Sir William Hamilton: “I have undertaken to assassinate Phrenology.”
The last major controversy of the 1820s was between the now more consolidated phrenologists, especially Spurzheim and the Combes, and Sir William Hamilton (1788-1856), since 1821 professor of Universal History at the University of Edinburgh. The Glasgow-born Hamilton was, as most people affluent enough to be educated at the time, first schooled in the classics but studied medicine in Edinburgh 1806-7. Later he switched to law and became an advocate, living in Edinburgh from 1813 and became FRSE in 1818. Politically Hamilton was a Whig but not a member of Scott’s or Jeffrey’s circle. In 1836 Hamilton would out-compete Combe and others for the Chair of Logic at the university. Hamilton was the last major proponent of the Scottish Common Sense school of philosophy of Reid and Dugald Stewart. He had not always been a successful insider. In 1820 he competed unsuccessfully (because of his Whigism) with the Tory John Wilson for the Chair of Moral Philosophy, vacant upon the death of Thomas Brown. Perhaps Hamilton’s active denunciations of phrenology in the late 1820s, in addition to the victory of the Whigs in 1832, made him the choice candidate for the university’s professoriate. Hence, again with a closer examination Hamilton’s denunciation of phrenology was a means of personal advancement rather than a symptom of Edinburgh class-conflict as argued by Shapin. The young Hamilton was intent on dispelling what he considered the authoritative pretensions of phrenologists and increasing his own status in the process, and perhaps it worked.
Hamilton read papers before the Royal Society of Edinburgh in December 1825 and February 1826 on the “Practical Conclusions from Gall’s Theory Regarding the Functions of the Brain”. Hamilton concluded that phrenology was decidedly not a science. A report on Hamilton’s paper in the Tory Gentleman’s Magazine of January 1826 relays that Hamilton “has showed that [phrenology’s] doctrines lead inevitably to Fatalism, Materialism, and Atheism; and, in fact, reduce man to a mere state of moral brutalism.” This condemnation at such a high altar of elite nineteenth-century science was particularly damning to the phrenologists’ aspirations to gain the scientific accolade they coveted.
Hamilton’s major anti-phrenological works are provided here as they are reprinted in his Lectures on Metaphysics and Logic (ed. John Veitch), vol 1, Edin., 1859.
-‘An account of experiments on the weight and relative proportions of the brain, cerebellum, and tuber annulare, in man and animals, under the various circumstances of age, sex, country, etc,’ prefix to Alexander Monro, The Anatomy of the Brain, with Some Observations on its Functions, Edin., 1831, 4-8.
Such is a very general view of that system [the Nervous] and its relations, which physiologists and philosophers in general have held to be the proximate organ of the thinking principle, and many to be even the thinking principle itself. That the mind, in its lower energies and affections, is immediately dependent on the conditions of the nervous system, and that, in general, the development of the brain in the different species of animals is correspondent to their intelligence, these are conclusions established upon an induction too extensive and too certain to admit of doubt. But when we attempt to proceed a step farther, and to connect the mind or its faculties with particular parts of the nervous system, we find ourselves at once checked. Observation and experiment seem to fail ; they afford only obscure and varying reports; and if, in this uncertainty, we hazard a conclusion, this is only a theory established upon some arbitrary hypotheses, in which fictions stand in place of facts. The uncertainty of such conclusions is shown
by the unexampled diversity of opinion that has always reigned among those who, discontented with a prudent ignorance, have attempted to explain the phenomena of mind by the phaenomena of organisation.
In the first place, some, (and their opinion is not, certainly, the least philosophical), hold that, in relation to the body, the soul is less contained than containing,-that it is all in the whole, and all in every part. This is the common doctrine of many of the Fathers, and of the scholastic Aristotelians.a
In the second place, others have attempted to connect the conscious principle in general with a particular part of the organism, but by very different relations. Some place it there, as in a local seat; others make it dependent on that part, as on its organ; while others hold that the mind stands in a more immediate relation to this part, only because it is the point of convergence where all the bodily sensations meet. I shall not attempt to enumerate the hundred and one conjectures in regard to the point in the corporeal organism, in proximate connection with the mind. It would occupy more than our hour to give you even a summary account of the hypotheses on this subject.
In the third place, no opinion has been more generally prevalent than that different faculties and dispositions of the mind are dependent on different parts of the bodily organism, and more especially on different parts of the nervous system. Under this head, I shall state to you one or two of the more famous opinions. The most celebrated doctrine,-that which was more universally adopted, and for a longer period, than any other,-was that which, with certain modifications, assigned different places in the Encephalos to Memory, Imagination, Sense, and the Locomotive Faculty,-Reason or Intelligence being left inorganic. This opinion we trace upward, through the Latin and Arabian schools,a to St Austin,y Nemesius,s the Greek physician Aetius, and even to the anatomists Rufus and Posidonius. Memory, on this hypothesis, was placed in the substance of the cerebellum, or in the subjacent ventricle ; and as the phrenologists now attempt to prove that the seat of this faculty
a See above, vol. ii. lect. xa. p. 7.-En. y De Genesi ad Literam, 1. vii. Caps.
ß [See Gassendi, Physica, § iii. memh. gvii. aviii.-En. See Tenneman, t. s. post. 1. viii. Opera, t. ii. pp. 400-401. p. 241.]
Averroes,Destrwct. Destrwetionwm. gist. S De Natvra Hovrcinis, c. giii. p. 204.
Opera, t. g. p. 340. Venice, 1560.] edit. Matthoci.-Ed.
lies above the eyebrows, by the alleged fact that, when a man wishes to stimulate his recollection, he rubs the lower part of his forehead,-so, of old, the same conclusion was established on the more plausible assertion, that a man in such circumstances naturally scratches the back of his head. The one indication is at least as good as the other.
Among modern physiologists, Willis yeas the first who attempted a new attribution of mental functions to different parts of the nervous system. He placed Perception and Sensation in the corpus callosum, Imagination and Appetite in the corpora striata, Memory in the cerebral convolutions, Involuntary Motion in the cerebellum, &c. ; and to Willis is to be traced the determination, so conspicuous among subsequent physiologists, of attributing different mental uses to different parts of the brain.
It would be bootless to state to you the many various and contradictory conjectures in regard to these uses. To psychologists they are, with one exception, all comparatively uninteresting, as, were they even ascertained to be something better than conjectures, still, as the physical condition is in all of them occult, it could not be applied as an instrument of psychological discovery. The exception which I make is, the celebrated doctrine of Gall. If true, that doctrine would not only afford us a new instrument, but would in a great measure supersede the old. In fact, the psychology of consciousness, and the psychology founded on Gall’s organology, are mere foolishness to each other. They arrive at conclusions the most contradictory; insomuch that the establishment of the one necessarily supposes the subversion of the other.
In these circumstances, no one interested in the philosophy of man can be indifferent to an inquiry into the truth or falsehood of the new doctrine. This doctrine cannot be passed over with contempt. It is maintained not only by too many, but by too able advocates, to be summarily rejected. That its results are repugnant to those previously admitted, is but a sorry reason for not inquiring into their foundation. This doctrine professes to have discovered new principles, and to arrive at new conclusions; and the truth or falsehood of these cannot, therefore, be estimated merely by their conformity or disconformity with those old results which the new professedly refute. To do so would be mere prejudice, a mere assumption of the point at issue. At the same
time, this doctrine professes to be founded on sensible facts. Sensible facts must be shown to be false, not by reasoning, but by experiment; for, as old Fernelius has well expressed it,-” Insipientis arrogantiae est argumentationis necessitatem sensuum testimonio anteponere.” To oppose such a doctrine in such a manner is not to refute, but to recommend; and yet, unfortunately, this has been. the usual mode in which the organology of Gall and his followers has been assailed. Such an opinion must be taken on its own ground. We must join issue with it upon the facts and inferences it embraces. If the facts are true, and if the inferences necessarily follow, the opinion must be admitted; the sooner, therefore, that we candidly inquire into these the better, for it is only thus that we shall be enabled to form a correct estimate of the evidence on which such a doctrine rests.
With these views I many years ago undertook an investigation of the fundamental facts on which the phrenological doctrine, as it is unfortunately called, is established. By a fundamental fact I mean a fact, by the truth of which the hypothesis could be proved, and, consequently, by the falsehood of which it could be disproved. Now, what are such facts ? The one condition of such a fact is, that it should be general. The phrenological theory is, that there is a correspondence between the volume of certain parts of the brain, and the intensity of certain qualities of mind and character; -the former they call development, the latter manifestation. Now, individual cases of alleged conformity of development and manifestation could prove little in favour of the doctrine, as individual cases of alleged disconformity could prove little against it ; because, 1°, The phrenologists had no standard by which the proportion of cerebral development could be measured by themselves or their opponents; 2°, Because the mental manifestation was vague and indeterminate ; 3°, Because they had introduced, as subsidiary hypotheses, the occult qualities of temperament and activity, so that, in individual cases, any given head could always be explained in harmony with any given character. Individual cases were thus ambiguous; they were worthless either to establish or to refute the theory. But where the phrenologists had proclaimed a general fact, by that fact their doctrine could be tried. For example, when they asserted as the most illustrious discovery of Gall, and as the surest inference of their doctrine, that the cerebellum is the
organ of the sexual appetite, and established this inference as the basis of certain general facts which, as common to the whole animal kingdom, could easily be made matter of precise experiment ;=by these facts the truth of their doctrine could be brought to the test, and this on ground the most favourable for them. For the general probability of their doctrine was thus estimated by the truth of its best-established element. But, on the other hand, if such general facts were found false, their disproval afforded the most satisfactory refutation of the whole system. For the phrenologists themselves readily admit, that their theory is exploded, if their doctrine of the function of the cerebellum is disproved. Because., therefore, an examination of the general facts of Phrenology was at once decisive and comparatively easy, I determined, on this ground, to try the truth of the opinion. I shall state to you very generally a few results of the investigation, of which I may, without boasting, affirm that no inquiry of the kind was ever conducted with greater care or more scrupulous accuracy.
I shall commence with the phrenological doctrine of the cerebellum, on which you will see the propriety of dwelling as briefly as I can. I may mention that the extent of my experiments on this organ is wholly unconnected with Phrenology. My attention was, indeed, originally turned to the relation of the after-brain to the other parts of the nervous system, when testing the accuracy of the phrenological doctrine on this point ;but that end was very soon accomplished, and it was certain discoveries which I made in regard to the laws of development and the function of this organ, and the desire of establishing these by an induction from as many of the species as possible of the animal kingdom, that led me into amore extensive inquiry than has hitherto been instituted by any professional physiologist. When I publish its results, they will disprove a hundred times over all the phrenological assertions in regard to the cerebellum ;but this will be only an accidental circumstance, and of comparatively little importance. I may add, that my tables extend to above 1000 brains of above 50 species of animals, accurately weighed by a delicate balance ;and you will remark that the phrenologists have not a single observation of any accuracy to which they can appeal. The only evidence in the shape of precise experiment on which they can found, is a table of Serres, who is no phrenologist, affording the general averages of certain weighings, said to have been made by him, of the brain and cere-
bellum, in the human subject. I shall prove that table an imaginary fabrication in support of a now exploded hypothesis of the author.
The alleged facts on which Gall and his followers establish their conclusion in regard to the function of the cerebellum, are the following
The first is, that in all animals, females have this organ, on an average, greatly smaller, in proportion to the brain proper, than males. Now, so far is this assertion from being correct, it is the very reverse of truth ; and I have ascertained, by an immense induction, that in no species of animal has the female a proportionally smaller cerebellum than the male, but that in most species, and this according to a certain law, she has a considerably larger. In no animal is this difference more determinate than in man. Women have on an average a cerebellum to the brain proper, as 1 : 7; men as I : 8. This is a general fact which I have completely established.a
The second alleged fact is, that in impuberal animals the cerebellum is in proportion to the brain proper greatly less than in adults. This is equally erroneous. In all animals, long previous to puberty, has the cerebellum attained its maximum proportion. And here, also, I am indebted to the phrenologists for having led me to make the discovery of another curious law, and to establish the real function of the cerebellum. Physiologists have hitherto believed that the cerebella of all animals, indifferently, were, for a certain period subsequent to birth, greatly less, in proportion to the brain proper, than in adults ; and have taken no note of the differences in this respect between different classes. Thus, completely wrong in regard to the fact, they have necessarily overlooked the law by which it is governed. In those animals that have from the first the full power of voluntary motion, and which depend immediately on their own exertions, and on their own power of assimilation for nutriment, the proportion of the cerebellum is as large, nay larger than in the adult. In the chicken of the common fowl, pheasant, partridge, &c., this is the case ; and most remarkably after the first week or ten days, when the yolk, (corresponding in a certain sort to the milk in quadrupeds), has been absorbed. In the calf, kid, lamb, and probably in the colt, the proportion of the
a See below, (b), On T1’eiLilat of Brain, p. 419.-En.
cerebellum at birth is very little less than in the adult. In those birds that do not possess at once the full power of voluntary motion, but which are in a rapid state of growth, the cerebellum, within a few days at least after being hatched, and by the time the yolk is absorbed, is not less or larger than in the adult; the pigeon, sparrow, &c. &c., are examples. In the young of those quadrupeds that for some time wholly depend for support on the milk of the mother, as on half-assimilated food, and which have at first feeble powers of regulated motion, the proportion of the cerebellum to the brain proper is at birth very small; but by the end of the full period of lactation, it has with them as with other animals, (nor is man properly an exception), reached the full proportion of the adult. This, for example, is seen in the young rabbit, kitten, whelp; &c. ; in them the cerebellum is to the brain proper at birth about as 1 to 14 ; at six and eight weeks old, about as 1 to 6. Pigs, &c., as possessing immediately the power of regulated motion, but wholly dependent on the milk of the mother during at least the first month after birth, exhibit a medium between the two classes. At birth the proportion is in them about 1 to 9, in the adult as 1 to 6. This analogy, at which I now only hint, has never been suspected ; it points at the new and important conclusion, (corroborated by many other facts), that the cerebellum is the intracranial organ of the nutritive faculty, that term being taken in its broadest signification ; and it confirms also an old opinion, recently revived, that it is the condition of voluntary or systematic motion.a
The third alleged fact is, that the proportion of the cerebellum to the brain proper in different species, is in proportion to the energy of the phrenological function attributed to it. This assertion is groundless as the others. There are many other fictions in regard to this organ; but these, I think, are a sufficient specimen of the truth of the doctrine in regard to the function of the cerebellum ; and the cerebellum, you will recollect, is the citadel of Phrenology.
I shall, however, give you the sample of another general fact. The organ of Veneration rises in the middle on the coronal surface of the head. Women, it is universally admitted, manifest religious feeling more strongly and generally than men ; and the phrenolo-
a from a communication by the of the Brain, pp. 6, 7. See below (b) On Author, printed in Dr Munro’s Anatomy Weight of Brain.-Ed.
gists accordingly assert, that the female cranium is higher in proportion in that region than the male. This I found to be the very reverse of truth by a comparative average of nearly two hundred skulls of either sex. In man, the female encephalon is considerably smaller than that of the male, and in shape the crania of the sexes are different. By what dimension is the female skull less than the male? The female skull is longer, it is nearly as broad, but it is much lower than the male. This is only one of several curious sexual differences of the head.
I do not know whether it be worth while mentioning, that, by a comparison of all the crania of murderers preserved in the Anatomical Museum of this University, with about nearly two hundred ordinary skulls indifferently taken, I found that these criminals exhibited a development of the phrenological organs of Destructiveness and other evil propensities smaller, and a development of the higher moral and intellectual qualities larger than the average. Nay, more, the same result was obtained when the murderers’ skulls were compared, not merely with a common average, but with the individual crania of Robert Bruce, George Buchanan, and Dr David Gregory.
I omit all notice of many other decisive facts subversive of the hypothesis in question ; but I cannot leave the subject without alluding to one which disproves, at one blow, a multitude of organs, affords a significant example of their accuracy of statement, and shows how easily manifestation can, by the phrenologists, be accommodated to any development, real or supposed. I refer to the Frontal Sinuses. These are cavities between the tables of the frontal bone, in consequence of a divergence from each other. They are found in all puberal crania, and are of variable and, from without], wholly inappreciable extent and depth. Where they exist, they of course interpose an insuperable bar to any estimate of the cerebral development ; and their extent being undiscoverable, they completely baffle all certain observation. Now, the phrenologists have fortunately, or unfortunately, concentrated the whole of their very smallest organs over the region of the sinus ; which thus, independently of other impediments, renders all phrenological observation more or less uncertain in regard to sixteen of their organs. Of these cavities the anatomists in general seem to have known not much, and the phrenologists absolutely nothing. At least, the former are
wrong in many of their positions, the latter wrong in all. I shall give you a sample of the knowledge and consistency of the phrenologists on this point.
Gall first of all answered the objection of the sinus by asserting, that even when it existed, the plates of the frontal bone were still parallel. The truth is, that the cavity is only formed by their divergence from parallelism, and thus it is now described by the phrenologists themselves. In his latest works, Gall asserted that the sinus is frequently absent in men, and seldom or never found in women. But Spurzheim carried the negation to its highest climax, for he avers, (I quote his words), ” that children and young adult persons have no holes between the two tables of the skull at the forehead, and that they occur only in old persons, or after chronic insanity.” He did not always, indeed, assert as much, and in some of his works he allows that they throw some uncertainty over the organs of Individuality and Size, but not much over that of Locality.
Now the fact is, as I have established by an inspection of several hundred crania, that no skull is without a sinus. This is, indeed, the common doctrine of the anatomists. But I have also proved that the vulgar doctrine of their increasing in extent, in proportion as the subject advances in life, is wholly erroneous. The smallest sinus I ever saw was in the cranium of a woman of a hundred years of age.
The two facts, the fact of the universal existence of the sinus, and its great and various and inappreciable extent, and the fact of the ignorance of the phrenologists in regard to every circumstance connected with it,-these two facts prove that these observers have been going on finding always manifestation and development in exact conformity ; when, to ! it turns out, that in nearly half their organs, the protuberance or depression apparent on the external bone has no connection with any correspondent protuberance or depression in the brain. Now, what does this evince ? Not merely that they were wrong in regard to these particular observations and the particular organs established upon the mistake. Of course, the whole organs lying over the sinuses are swept away. But this is not all ; for the theory supposes, as its condition, that the amount of the two qualities of mental manifestation and cerebral development can be first accurately measured apart, and then compared together, and found either to be conformable or disconformable ;
and the doctrine, assuming this possibility, proves its truth only by showing that the two qualities thus severally estimated, are, in all cases,, in proportion to each other. Now, if the possibility thus assumed by Phrenology were true, it would at once have discovered that the apparent amount of development over the sinus was not in harmony with the mental manifestation. But this it never did ; -it always found the apparent or cranial development over the sinus conformable to the mental manifestation, though this bony development bore no more a proportion to the cerebral brain than if it had been looked for on the great toe ; and thus it is at once evident, that manifestation and development in general are, in their hands, such factitious, such arbitrary quantities, that they can always, under any circumstances, be easily brought into unison. Phrenology is thus shown to be a mere leaden rule, which bends to whatever it is applied; and, therefore, all phrenological observation is poisoned, in regard even to those organs where a similar obstacle did not prevent the discovery of the cerebral development. Suppose a mathematician to propose a new method for the solution of algebraical equations. If we applied it and found it gave a false result, would the inventor be listened to if he said,” True, my method is wrong in these cases in which it has been tried, but it is not, therefore, proved false in those in which it has not been put to the test?” Now, this is precisely the plea I have heard from the phrenologists in relation to the sinus. “Well!” they say, “we admit that Gall and Spurzheim have been all wrong about the sinus, and we give up the organs above the eyes ; but our system is untouched in the others which are situate beyond the reach of that obnoxious cavity.” To such reasoning there was no answer.
I should have noticed, that, even supposing there had been no intervening caverns in the forehead, the small organs arranged, like peas in a pod, along the eyebrows could not have severally manifested any difference of development. If we suppose, (what I make bold to say was never yet observed in the brain,) that a portion of it so small in extent as any one of the six phrenological organs of Form, Size, Weight, Colour, Order, and Number, which lie side by side upon the eyebrows, was ever prominent beyond the surrounding surface,-I say, supposing the protuberance of so small a spot upon the cerebral convolutions, it could never determine a corresponding eminence on the external table of the skull. What would
be the effect of such a protrusion of brain upon the cranium? It would only make room for itself in the thickness of the bone which it would attenuate. This is shown by two examples. The first is taken from the convolutions themselves. I should, however, state, that convolution, and anfractuosity or furrow, are correlative terms, like hill and valley, the former (convolutions) being applied to the windings of the cerebral surface as rising up,-the latter (anfractuosity, or furrow) being applied to them as sinking in. Convolutions are the winding eminences between the furrows; anfractuosities the winding depressions between the convolutions. This being understood, we find, on looking to the internal surface of the cranium, that the convolutions attenuate the bone which is sometimes quite transparent, diaphanous, over them, whereas it remains comparatively thick over the anfractuosities ; but they cause no inequality on the outer surface. Yet the convolutions, which thus make room for themselves in the bone without elevating it externally, are often broader, and of course always longer, than the little organs which the phrenologists have placed along the eyebrows. A fortiori,therefore, we must suppose that an organ like Size, or Weight, or Colour, if it did project beyond the surrounding brain, would only render the superincumbent bone thinner, without causing it to rise, unless we admit that nature complaisantly changes her laws in accommodation to the new doctrine.
But we have another parallel instance still more precisely in point. In many heads there are certain rounded eminences, (called Glandulae Pacchiona), on the coronal surface of the brain, which nearly correspond in size with the little organs in question. Now, if the phrenological supposition were correct, that an elevation on the brain, of so limited an extent, would cause an elevation on the external table of the bone,-these eminences would do so far more certainly than any similar projection over the eyebrows. For the frontal bone in the frontal region is under the continual action of muscles, and this action would tend powerfully to prevent any partial elevation ; whereas, on the upper part of the head, the bone is almost wholly exempt from such an agency. But do the glands, as they are called, of Pacchioni, (though they are no glands), -do they determine an elevation on the external surface of the skull corresponding to the elevation they form on the cerebral
surface ? Not in the very least ; the cranium is there outwardly quite equable,-level,-uniform,-though probably attenuated to the thinness of paper to accommodate the internal rising.
The other facts which I have stated as subversive of what the phrenologists regard as the best-established constituents of their system, -I could only state to you on my own authority. But they are founded on observations made with the greatest accuracy, and on phenomena, which every one is capable of verifying. 1f the general facts I gave you in regard to the cerebellum, &c., are false, then am I a deliberate deceiver; for these are of such a nature that no one with the ordinary discourse of reason could commit an error in regard to them, if he actually made the observations. The maxim, however, which I have myself always followed, and which I would earnestly impress upon you, is to take nothing upon trust that can possibly admit of doubt, and which you are able to verify for yourselves ; and had I not been obliged to hurry on to more important subjects, I might have been tempted to show you by experiment what I have now been compelled to state to you upon authority alone.
I am here reminded of a fact, of which I believe none of our present phrenologists are aware,-at least all their books confidently assert the very reverse. It is this,-that the new system is the result, not of experience but of conjecture,-and that Gall, instead of deducing the faculties from the organs, and generalising both from particular observations, first of all excogitated a faculty a priori, and then looked about for an organ with which to connect it. In short, Phrenology was not discovered, but invented.
You must know, then, that there are two faculties, or rather two modifications of various faculties, which cut a conspicuous figure in the psychologies of Wolf and other philosophers of the Empire:—these are called in German Tiefsinn andScharfsinn, -literally deep sense and sharp sense, but are now known in English phrenological language by the terms Causality and Comparison.. Now what I wish you to observe is, that Gall found these two clumsy modifications of mind, ready shaped out in the previous theories of philosophy prevalent in his own country, and then in the language itself. Now, this being understood, you
a See below (d) On Frontal Sinus, p. 424.-Ed.
must also know that, in 1’798, Gall published a letter to Retzer of Vienna, wherein he, for the first time, promulgates the nature of his doctrine, and we here catch him,-ream confitentem, in the very act of conjecturing. In this letter he says: ” I am not yet so far advanced in my researches as to have discovered special organs for Scharfsinn and Tiefsinn, (Comparison and Causality), for the principle of the Representative Faculty, (Vorstellungsvermogen, another faculty in German philosophy), and for the different varieties of judgment, &c:’ In this sentence we see exhibited the real source and veritable derivation of the system.
In the Darstellung of Froriep, a favourite pupil of Gall, under whose eye the work was published in the year 1800, twenty-two organs are given, of which the greater proportion are now either translated to new localities, or altogether thrown out. We find also that the sought-for organs had, in the interval, been found for Scharfsinn, (Comparison), and Tiefsinn, (Causality) ; and what further exhibits the hypothetical genealogy of the doctrine, is, that a great number of organs are assumed, which lie wholly beyond the possible sphere of observation, at the base and towards the centre of the brain ; as those of the External Senses, those of Desire, Jealousy, Envy, love of Power, love of Pleasure, love of Life, &c.
An organ of Sensibility is placed above that of Amativeness, between and below two organs of Philoprogenitiveness,-an organ of Liberality, (its deficiency standing instead of an organ of Avarice or Acquisitiveness), is situated above the eyebrows, in the position now occupied by that of Time. An organ of Imagination is intimately connected with that of Theosophy or Veneration, towards the vertex of the head ; and Veracity is problematically established above an organ of Parental Love. An organ of Vitality is not to be forgotten, situated in the medulla oblongata, the development of which is measured by the size of the foramen magnum and the thickness of the neck. These faculties and organs are all now cashiered ; and who does not perceive that, like those of Causality and Comparison, which are still suffered to remain, they were first devised, and then quartered on some department of the brain ?
We thus see that, in the first edition of the craniological hypo, thesis, there were several tiers or stories of organs,-some at the base, some about the centre, and others on the surface of the brain. Gall went to lecture through Germany, and among other places he
lectured at Göttingen. Here an objection was stated to his system by the learned Meiners. Gall measured the development of an external organ by its prominence. ” How,” says Meiners, “do you know that this prominence of the outer organ indicates its real size? May it not merely be pressed out, though itself of inferior volume, by the large development of a subjacent organ?” This objection it was easily seen was checkmate. A new game must be commenced, the pieces arranged again. Accordingly, all the organs at the base and about the centre of the brain were withdrawn, and the whole organs were made to run very conveniently upwards and outwards from the lower part of the brain to its outer periphery.
It would be tiresome to follow the history of phrenological variation through the works of Leune and Villers to those of Bischoff and Blöde, which last represent the doctrine as it flourished in 1805. In these, the whole complement of organs which Gall ever admitted is detailed, with the exception of Ideality. But their position was still vacillating. For example, in Froriep, Bischoff, and Blöde, the organ of Destructiveness is exhibited as lying principally on the parietal bone, above and a little anterior to the organ of Combativeness ; while the region of the temporal bone, above and before the opening of the ear, in other words, its present situation, is marked as terra adhuc incognita.
No circumstance, however, is more remarkable than the successive changes of shape in the organs. Nothing can be more opposite than the present form of these as compared with those which the great work of Gall exhibits. In Gall’s plates they are round or oval, in the modern casts and plates they are of every variety of angular configuration; and I have been told that almost every new edition of these varies from the preceding. We may, therefore, well apply to the phrenologist and his organology the line of Horace-a
“Diruit, aedificat, mulct quadrata rotundie,”
with this modification, that we must read in the latter part, mzctat rotunda quadratis.
So much for Phrenology, for the doctrine which would substitute the callipers for consciousness in the philosophy of man ; and the result of my observation,-the result at which I would
a Epist. L. i. ep. i. 700.-Ed.
wish you also to arrive,-I cannot better express than in the language of the Roman poet a —
” Materiee ne quaere modum, sed perspice vires
Quas ratio, non pondus habet “
In what I have said in opposition to the phrenological doctrine, I should, however, regret if it could be ever supposed that I entertain any feeling of disrespect for those who are converted to this opinion. On the contrary, I am prompt to acknowledge that the sect comprises a large proportion of individuals of great talent ; and I am happy to count among these some of my most valued and respected friends. To the question, how comes it that so many able individuals can be believers in a groundless opinion?-I answer, that the opinion is not wholly groundless ; it contains much of truth,-of old truth it must be allowed ; but it is assuredly no disparagement to any one that he should not refuse to admit facts so strenuously asserted, and which, if true, so necessarily infer the whole conclusions of the system. But as to the mere circumstance of numbers, that is of comparatively little weight,-argumentum pessimi turba,-and the phrenological doctrines are of such a nature that they are secure of finding ready converts among the many. There have been also, and there are now, opinions far more universally prevalent than the one in question, which nevertheless we do not consider on that account to be undeniable.
(Published in Dr MONRO’S Anatomy of the Brain, p. 4-8. Edinburgh, 1831.-Ed.)
The following, among other conclusions, are founded on an induction drawn from above sixty human brains, from nearly three hundred human skulls, of determined sex, -the capacity of which, by a method I devised, was taken in sand, and the original weight of the brain thus recovered,-and from more than seven hundred brains of different animals.
a Manilius, iv. 929.-Ed.
1. In man, the adult male Enceplialos is heavier than the female ; the former nearly averaging, in the Scot’s head, 3 lb. 8 oz. troy, the latter, 3 lb. 4 oz. ; the difference, 4 oz. In males of this country, about one brain in seven is found above 4 lb. troy ; in females, hardly one in one hundred.
2. In man, the Encephalon reaches its full size about seven years of age. This was never before proved. It is commonly believed that the brain and the body attain their full development together. The Wenzels rashly generalised from two cases the conclusion, that the brain reaches its full size about seven years of age ; as Soemmerring had, in like manner, on a single case, erroneously assumed that it attains its last growth by three. Gall and Spurzheim, on the other hand, assert that the increase of the encephalon is only terminated about forty. The result of my induction is deduced from an average of thirty-six brains and skulls of children, compared with an average of several hundred brains and skulls of adults. It is perhaps superfluous to observe, that it is the greater development of the bones, muscles, and hair, which renders the adult head considerably larger than that of the child of seven.
3. It is extremely doubtful whether the cranial contents usually diminish in old age. The vulgar opinion that they do, rests on no adequate evidence, and my induction would rather prove the negative.
4. The common doctrine, that the African brain, and in particular that of the Negro, is greatly smaller than the European, is false. By a comparison of the capacity of two Caffre skulls, male and female, and of thirteen negro crania, (six male, five female, and two of doubtful sex), the encephalon of the African was found not inferior to the average size of the European.
5. In man, the Cerebellum, in relation to the brain proper, comes to its full proportion about three years. This anti-phrenological fact is proved by a great induction.
6. It is extremely doubtful whether the Cerebellum usually diminishes in old age; probably only in cases of atropltia senilis.
7. The female Cerebellum is, in general, considerably larger in proportion to the brain proper, than the male. In the human subject, (the tuber excluded), the former is nearly as 1 to 7.6 ; the latter nearly as 1 to 8.4 : and this sexual difference appears to be more determinate in man than in most other animals. Almost
the whole difference of weight between the male and female encephali lies in the brain proper ; the cerebella of the two sexes, absolutely, are nearly equal,-the preponderance rather in favour of the women. This observation is new; and the truth of the phrenological hypothesis implies the reverse. It confirms the theory of the function of the cerebellum noticed in the following paragraph.
8. The proportion of the Cerebellum to the Brain proper at birth, varies greatly in different animals.a
9. Castration has no effect in diminishing the cerebellum, either absolutely or in relation to the brain propers The opposite doctrine is an idle fancy ; though asserted by the phrenologists as their most incontrovertible fact. Proved by a large induction.
10. The universal opinion is false, that man, of all or almost all animals, has the smallest cerebellum in proportion to the brain proper. Many of the commonest quadrupeds and birds have a cerebellum, in this relation, proportionally smaller than man.
11. What has not been observed, the proportion of the Tuber Annulare to the Cerebellum, (and, a majore, to the brain proper), is greatly less in children than in adults. In a girl of one year, (in my table of human brains), it is as 1 to 16.1 ; in another of two, as 1 to 14.8 ; in a boy of three, as 1 to 15.5 ; and the average of children under seven, exhibits the pores, in proportion to the cerebellum, much smaller than in the average of adults, in whom it is only as l to 8,or 1 to 9.
12. In specific gravity, contrary to the current doctrine, the encephalos and its parts vary very little, if at all, from one age to another. A child of two, and a woman of a hundred years, are, in this respect, nearly equal, and the intermediate ages show hardly more than individual differences.
13. The specific gravity of the brain does not vary in madness, (if one case of chronic insanity is to be depended on), contrary to what has been alleged. In fever it often does, and remarkably.
14. The cerebellum, (the converse of the received opinion), has
a For the remainder of this section, the cerebellum. See the experiments see above, Appendix II. (a) p. 411, recorded by M. Leuret, cited by Sir “Physiologists,” &c., to p. 412, “motion.”–ED.
Benjamin Brodie, Psychological Inquiries, note H.-ED.
ß The effect is, in fact, to increase
a greater specific gravity than the brain proper ; and this difference is considerably more marked in birds than in man and quadrupeds. The opinion also of the ancients is probably true, that the cerebellum is harder than the brain proper.
15. The human brain does not, as asserted, possess a greater specific gravity than that of other animals.
(Communicated to the Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal, conducted by Professor JAMESON. See Vol. XLVIII., p. 330 (1850). For Dr MORTON’S Tables, see the same Journal, Vol. XLVIII., p. 262.-ED.)
What first strikes me in Dr Morton’s Tables, completely invalidates his conclusions, he has not distinguished male from female crania. Now, as the female encephalos is, on an average, some four ounces troy less than the male, it is impossible to compare national skulls with national skulls, in respect of their capacity, unless we compare male with male, female with female heads, or, at least, know how many of either sex go to makeup the national complement.
A blunder of this kind is made by Mr Sims, in his paper and valuable correlative table of the weight of 253 brains (Medico Chirurgical Transactions, vol. xix.) He there attacks the result of my observation, (published by Dr Monro, Anatomy of the Brain, &e., 1831), that the human. encephalos, (brain proper and afterbrain), reaches its full size by seven years of age, perhaps somewhat earlier. In refutation of this paradox, he slumps the male and female brains together; and then, because he finds that the average weight of his adults, among whom the males are greatly the more numerous, is larger than the average weight of his impuberals, among whom the females preponderate, he jumps at once to the conclusion, that I am wrong, and that the encephalos continues to grow, to diminish, and to grow again (!), for,-I forget how long, after the period of maturity. Fortunately, along with his crotchets, he has given the detail of his weighings ; and his table, when properly arranged, confutes himself, and superfluously confirms me. That is, comparing the girls with the women, and the boys with the men, it appears, from his own induction, that the cranial
contents do reach the average amount, even before the age of seven.
Tiedemann, (Das Hirn des Negers, &c., 1837, p. 4), notes the contradiction of Sims’ result and mine ; but he does not solve it. The same is done, and not done, by Dr Bostock, in his Physiology. Tiedemann, however, remarks, that his own observations coincide with mine (p. 10) ; as is, indeed, evident from his Table, (p. 11), ” Of the cranial capacity from birth to adolescence,” though, unfortunately, in that table, but in that alone, he has not discriminated the sex.
Dr Morton’s conclusion as to the comparative size of the Negro brain, is contrary to Tiedemann’s larger, and to my smaller, induction, which concur in proving, that the Negro encephalos is not less than the European, and greatly larger than the Hindoo, the Ceylonese, and sundry other Asiatic brains. But the vice, already noticed, of Dr Morton’s induction, renders it, however extensive, of no cogency in the question.
Dr Morton’s method of measuring the capacity of the cranium, is, certainly, no ” invention ” of his friend Mr Philips, being, in either form, only a clumsy and unsatisfactory modification of mine. Tiedemann’s millet-seed affords, likewise, only an inaccurate approximation to the truth ; for seeds, as found by me, vary in weight according to the drought and moisture of the atmosphere, and are otherwise ill adapted to recover the size of the brain in the smaller animals. The physiologists who have latterly followed the method of filling the cranium, to ascertain the amount of the cranial contents, have adopted, not without perversion, one-half of my process, and altogether omitted the other. After rejecting mustard-seed, which I first thought of employing, and for the reasons specified, I found that pure silicious sand was the best mean of accomplishing the purpose, from its suitable ponderosity, incompressibility, equality of weight in all weathers, and tenuity. Tiedemann, (p. 21), says, that he did not employ sand, “because, by its greater specific gravity, it might easily burst the cranial bones at the sutures.” He would, by trial, have found that this objection is futile. The thinnest skull of the youngest infant can resist the pressure of sand, were it many times greater than it is ; even Morton’s lead shot proved harmless in this respect. But, while nothing could answer the purpose better than sand, still this
afforded only one, and that an inadequate, mean towards an end. Another was requisite. By weighing the brain of a young and healthy convict, who was hanged, and afterwards weighing the sand which his prepared cranium contained, I determined the proportion of the specific gravity of cerebral substance, (which in all ages and animals is nearly equal), to the specific gravity of the sand which was employed. I thus obtained a formula by which to recover the original weight of the encephalon in all the crania which were filled; and hereby brought brains weighed and skulls gauged into a universal relation. On the contrary, the comparisons of Tiedemann and Morton, as they stand, are limited to their own Tables. I have once and again tested the accuracy of this process, by experiment, in the lower animals, and have thus perfect confidence in the certainty of its results be the problem to recover the weight of the encephalon from the cranium of a sparrow, or from the cranium of an elephant.
I may conclude by saying, that I have now established, apart from the proof by averages, that the human encephalon does not increase after the age of seven, at highest. This has been done, by measuring the heads of the same young persons, from infancy to adolescence and maturity; for the slight increase in the size of the head, after seven (or six) is exhausted by the development to be allowed in the bones, muscles, integuments, and hair.
(The following is an unpublished Memorandum in reference to preceding.-ED.)
March 23, 1850.
Found that the specific weight of the sand I had employed for measuring the capacity of crania, was that the sand filling 32 cubic inches, weighed 12,160 grains.
Found at the same time that the millet-seed occupying the same number of cubic inches, weighed 5665 grains.
Thus the proportion of millet-seed to sand, in specific gravity, is as 1 : 2.147.
One cubic inch thus contains 380 grains sand; and 177 grains millet-seed.
(d.) ORIGINAL RESEARCHES ON THE FRONTAL SINUSES, WITH OBSERVATIONS ON THEIR BEARINGS ON THE DOGMAS OF PHRENOLOGY.
(From The Medical Tames, May 1845, Vol. XIL, p. 159 ; June 7, 1845,
Vol. XII. p. 177 ; August 1845, Vol. XII. p. 371.-ED.)
Before proceeding to state in detail the various facts and fictions relative to the Frontal Sinus,- it will be proper to premise some necessary information touching the nature and relations of the sinuses themselves.
The cruces phrenologorum are two cavities, separated from each other by a perpendicular osseous partition, and formed between the tables of the frontal bone, in consequence of a divergence of these tables from their parallelism, as they descend to join the bones of the nose, and to build the orbits of the eye. They are not, however, mere inorganic vacuities, arising from the recession of the bony plates; they constitute a part of the olfactory apparatus ; they are lined with a membrane, a continuation of the pituitary, and this, copiously supplied with blood, secretes a lubricating mucus which is discharged by an aperture into the nose.
Various theories have been proposed to explain the mode of their formation ; but it is only the fact of their existence, frequency, and degree, with which we are at present interested. In the foetus, manifested only in rudiment, they are gradually, but in different subjects variously developed, until the age of puberty; they appear to obtain their ultimate expansion towards the age of twenty-five. They are exclusively occasioned by the elevation of the external
a It is proper to oberve, that the notes, of which the following is an abstract, were written above sixteen years ago, and have not since been added to, or even looked at. They were intended for part of a treatise to be entitled, ” The Fictions of Phrenology and the Facts of Nature.” My researches, however, particularly into the relations of the cerebellum, and the general growth of the brain, convinced me that the phrenological doctrine was wholly un
table, which determines, in fact, the rise of the nose at the period of adolescence, by affording to the nasal bones their formation and support.
Sundry hypotheses have likewise been advanced to explain their uses, but it will be enough for us, from the universality of their appearance, to refute the singular fancy of the phrenologists, that these cavities are abnormal varieties, the product of old age or disease.
But though the sinuses are rarely if ever absent, their size in every dimension varies to infinity. Laying aside all rarer enormities, and speaking, of course, only of subjects healthy and in the prime of life, in superficial extent the sinus sometimes reaches hardly above the root of the nose, sometimes it covers nearly the whole forehead, penetrates to the bottom of the orbit, and, turning the external angle of the eyebrow, is terminated only at the junction of the frontal and parietal bones. Now, a sinus is small, or almost null upon one side,-on the other it is, perhaps, unusually large; while in no dimension are the two cavities, in general, strictly correspondent, even although the outer forehead present the most symmetrical appearance. In depth (or transverse distance between the tables) the sinus is equally inconstant, varying indeterminably in different heads, from a line or less to half an inch and more. Now, a sinus gradually disappears by a gradual convergence of its walls ; now these walls, after running nearly parallel, suddenly unite. Now, the depth of the cavity decreases from centre to circumference ; now, the plates approximate in the middle and recede farther from each other, immediately before they ultimately unite. In one cranium, a sinus, collected within itself, is fairly rounded off; in another, it runs into meandering bays, or is subdivided into separate chambers, these varying without end in their relative capacity and extent. In depth, as well as in extent, the capacity of the sinus is thus wholly indeterminable; and no one can predict, from external observation, whether the cavity shall be a lodging scanty for a fly or roomy for a mouse.
It is an error of the grossest, that the extent of the sinus is indicated by a ridge, or crest, or blister, in the external bony plate. Such a protuberance has no certain or even probable relation to the extent, depth, or even existence, of any vacuity beneath. Over
worthy of a serious refutation; and should the detail of my observations on these points be ever published, it will not be done in a polemical form. My notes on the frontal sinuses having, however, been cast in relation to the phrenological hypothesis, I have not thought it necessary to take the labour of altering them,-especially as the phrenological fiction is, in truth, a complement of all possible errors on the subject of these cavities.
the largest cavities there is frequently no bony elevation ; and women, in whose crania these protuberances are in general absent or very small, exhibit the sinuses as universally existent, and not, perhaps, proportionably less extensive than those of men. The external ridge, however prominent, is often merely a sudden outward thickening of the bony wall, which sometimes has a small, sometimes no cavity at all, beneath. Apart also from the vacuity, though over the region of the sinus, no quarter of the cranium presents greater differences in thickness, whether in different subjects or in the same head, than the plates and diploe of the frontal bone; and I have found that the bony walls themselves presented an impediment which varied inappreciably from three to thirteen lines := ° fronti nulls fides.”
But the “fronti nwlla fides,” in a phrenological relation, is further illustrated by the accidents of its sinus, which all concur in manifesting the universality and possibly capacious size of that cavity. That cavity is sometimes occupied by stony concretions, and is the seat of ulcers, cancer, polypus, and sarcoma. When acutely inflamed the sensibility of its membrane becomes painfully intense; and every one has experienced its irritation when simply affected with catarrh. The mucosity of this membrane, the great extent and security of the caverns, joined with their patent openings into the nose, render the sinuses a convenient harbour for the nidulation, hatching, and nourishment of many parasitic animals; indeed, the motley multitude of its guests might almost tempt us to regard it as
” The cistern for all creeping things
To knot and gender in.” a
” Chacun a son Vercoquin dans la teste “-. ” Quemque suns vellicat Vermis “-are adages which, from the vulgarity of the literal occurrence, would seem more than metaphorically true.
With a frequency sometimes epidemic,-r flies and insects here
a °° Or keep it as a cistern for foul Voigtel, Handb. d. Pathol. Anat. 1804,
toads vol. i. p. 292. I quote him, instar
To knot and gender in.” omnium, as one of the best and one of
Othello, act iv. so. 2.-En. the most recent authorities.
S In the frontal sinuses worms and y Forestus, Oba. Ned., lib. a$i. scbol, insects are not unfrequently found.- 28.
ascend to spawn their eggs, and maggots (other than phrenological) are bred and fostered in these genial labyrinths. Worms, in every loathsome diversity of slime and hair-reptiles armed with fangs, -crawlers of a hundred feet,-ejected by the score, and varying from an inch to half an ell in length, cause by their suction, burrowing, and erosion, excruciating headache, convulsions, delirium, and phrensy. With many a nameless or nondescript visitor, the leech, the lumbricus, the ascaris, the ascarius lumbricoides, the fasciola, the eruca, the oniscus, the gordius, the forficula, the scolopendra, the scorpiodes, and even the scorpion, a are by a hundred observers recorded as finding in these ” antres vast,”-these ” spelunci ferarum,”-a birthplace or an asylum. s And the fact, sufficiently striking in itself, is not without significance in relation to the present inquiry, that these intruders principally infest the
a Hollerius, De Morb. Int. lib. i. c. 1 ; Gesner, Benevenius, Fernelius, Rio-
Gesner Hist. Anat., lib. v.; Boneti, lanus, Forestus, Bartholinus, Ferretti,
Sepul. Obs.,121 ; Ferretti.-I here refer Rolfinck, Olaus R’ormius (who himself
to the scorpion alone. ejected a worm from the nose-was it a
,B Long before the sinus was anatomi- family affection ?) Smetius (who also cally described by Carpi, this pathologi- relates his own case), Tulpius, Heurnius, cal fact had been well known to physi- Roussaeus, Monardis, Schenk, Senertus, cians. The prescription of the Delphic Montuus, Borelli, Bonetus, Hertodius, oracle to Demosthenes of Athens forhis Kerkringius,Joubert,Volkammer,Wohlepilepsy shows that the Greeks were farth, Nannoni, Stalpert, Vander Wiel, aware of the existence of worms in the Morgagni,Clericus,DeBlegny,Salzmann, frontal sinuses of the goat. (Alex. Honold, Hill, Kilgour, Littre, Maloet, Trallian, lib. i. c. 15.) Among the Ara- Sandifort, Henkel, Harder, Stocket, bians, Avicenna (Fenestella, lib. iii. tr. 2, Slabber, Nil Rosen, Razoug, Schaarc. 3) tells us it was well known to the schmidt, Quelmatz, Wolf, Blumenbach, Indian physicians, that worms were Ploucquet, Baur, Riedlin, Zacharides, generated in the forehead immediately Lange, Boettcher, Welge, Wrisberg, above the root of the nose, were fre- Troia, Voigtel, Rudolphi, Bremser, &c., quently the cause of headaches; and &c. ; and of journals-Ephem. Misc.; Rhazes (Continet, lib. i. c. 10) observes Aeta et Nova 9 eta Curios. Nat.; Comthat this was the opinion of Sehare and mere. Liter., Nov. 2 ; Breslauer Sammothers. Among the moderns, my medi- lung; Duncan’s Ned. Journ.; Edinb. cal ignorance suggests more authorities Ned. Essays; London Chronicle; Phithan I can almost summon patience ladelphia Transactions; Blumenbach’s simply to name. The curious reader Ned. Bibl., &c., &c. may consult, among others, Valescus de I may here mention, that the nidula-
Tarauta, Nicolaus de Nicolis, Vega, tion of the oestrus ovinus (which occaMarcellus Donatus, Trincavelli, Bene- sionally infects the human sinus) forms detti, Hollerius, Duretus, Fabricius a frequent epidemic among sheep and
Hildanus, Zacuta Lusitanus, Hercules goats. The horse, the dog (and erode Sagonia, Petrus Paulus Magnus, An- bably most other animals) are similarly gellinus, Alsarius, Cornelius Gemma, afflicted.
sinuses of women, and more especially before the period of full puberty.
Such is the great and inappreciable variation of the frontal sinus and its walls, that we may well laugh at every attempt to estimate, in that quarter, the development of any part of the subjacent hemispheres, were that part larger than the largest even of the pretended phrenological organs. But this is nothing. Behind these spacious caverns, in utter ignorance of the extent, frequency, and even existence of this impediment, the phrenologists have placed, not one large, but seventeen of their very smallest organs; and have thus enabled an always insurmountable obstacle to operate in disproof of their system in its highest intensity.
By concentrating all their organs of the smallest size within the limits of the sinus, they have, in the first place, carried all those organs whose range of development was least, behind the obstacle whose range of development was greatest. Where the cranium is thinner and comparatively more equal in thickness, they have placed all the organs, (those of the propensities and sentiments), which present the broadest surface, and, as they themselves assure us, varying in their development from the centre to circumference by an inch and upwards ; while all the organs, (those of the intellect), which have the narrowest expansion, and whose varying range of development from the centre is stated to be only a quarter of an inch, (less even than the fourth of the variation of the others), a these have been accumulated behind an impediment whose ordinary differences are far more than sufficient to explain every gradation of the pretended development of the pretended organs from their smallest to their largest size.
In the second place, they have thus at once thrown one half of their whole organology beyond the verge of possible discovery and possible proof.
In the third place, by thus evincing that their observations on that one half had been only illusive fancies, they have afforded a criterion of the credit to be fairly accorded to their observations in relation to the other ; they have shown in this, as in other parts
a Combe’s System, &c., p. 31. ” The amounts to an inch and upwards; and difference in development between a to a quarter of an inch in the organs of large and a small organ of the propen- intellect, which are naturally smaller sities and some of the sentiments, than the others.”
of their doctrine, that manifestation and development are quantities which, be they what they may, can on their doctrine always be brought to an equation.
Nay, in the fourth place, as if determined to transcend themselves-to find ” a lower deep beneath the lowest deep,” they have even placed the least of their least organs at the very point where this, the greatest. obstacle, was in its highest potency, by placing the organs of configuration, size, weight, and resistance, &c., towards the internal angle of the eyebrow, the situation where the sinus is almost uniformly deepest.a
Nor, in the fifth place, were they less unfortunate in the location of the rest of their minutest organs. These they arranged in a series along the upper edge of the orbit, where, independently even of the sinus, the bone varies more in thickness, from one individual and from one nation to another, than in any other part of the skull ; and where these organs, hardly larger, are packed together more closely than peas in a pod. These pretended organs, if they even severally protruded from the brain, as they never do-if no sinus intervened-and if, instead of lying under the thickest, they were situate under the thinnest bone of the cranium ; these petty organs could not, even in these circumstances, reveal their development by determining any elevation, far less any sudden elevation, of the incumbent bone. That bone they could only attenuate at the point of contact, by causing an indentation on its inner surface. This is shown by what are called the glands of Pa6chioni, though erroneously. These bodies, -which are often found as large as, or larger than, the organs in question, and which arise on the coronal surface of the encephalos, attenuate to the thinnest, but never elevate in the slightest, the external bony plate, though there the action of the muscles presents a smaller impediment to a partial elevation than in the superciliary region. This I have frequently taken note of.
As it is, these minute organs are expected to betray their distinct and relative developments through the obstacle of two thick bony walls, and a large intervening chamber; the varying differ-
a Every one who has ever examined in loco fere ossium lamina a se invicem the sinus knows that what Schulze has maxime distant.”-(De Cav. Cranii,Acta observed is true- in illo angulo qui Phys. Med. A cad. Cces., i. p. 508.)
ad pares est, cavitatis fundus est, et hoc
ence of the impediment being often consideral,4ly greater than the whole diameter even of the organs themselves. The fact, however, is, that these organs are commonly, if not always, developed only in the bone, and may be cut out of the cranium, even in an impuberal skull destitute of the sinus, without trenching on the confines of the brain itself. At the external angle of the eyebrow at the organ of slumber, the bone, exclusive of any sinus, is sometimes found to exceed an inch in thickness.
How then have the phrenologists attempted to obviate the objection of the sinus ?
The first organs which Gall excogitated, he placed in the region of the sinus ; and it is manifest he was then in happy unacquaintance with everything connected with that obnoxious cavity. In ignorance, however, Gall was totally eclipsed by Spurzheim; who, while he seems even for a time unaware of its existence as a normal occurrence, has multiplied the number and diminished the size of the organs which the sinus regularly covers. By both the founders, their organology was published before they had discovered the formidable nature of the impediment, and then it was too late to retract. They have attempted, indeed, to elude the objection ; but the manner in which they have floundered on from blunder to blunder,-blunders not more inconsistent with each other, than contrary to the fact,-shows that they have never dared to open their eyes on the reality, or never dared to acknowledge their conviction of its effect. The series of fictions in relation to the frontal sinus, is, out of Phrenology, in truth, unparalleled in the history of science. These fictions are substituted for facts the simplest and most palpable in nature ; they are substituted for facts contradicted by none, and proclaimed by every anatomical authority ; and they are substituted for facts which, as determining the competency of phrenological proof, ought not to have been rejected without a critical refutation by the founders of that theory themselves. But while it seemed possible for the phrenologists to find only truth, they have yet continued to find nothing but errorerror always at the greatest possible distance from the truth. But if they were thus so curiously wrong in matters so easy, notorious, and fundamental, how far may we not presume them to have gone astray where they were not, as it were, preserved from wandering?
The fictions by which phrenologists would obviate the objection
of the frontal sinus, may, with the opposing facts, be divided into four classes; as they relate 1°, to its mature and effect; 2°, to its indication; 3°, to its frequency; and 4°, to its size.
I.-NATURE AND EFFECT OF THE SINUS.
Fact.-The frontal sinus only exists in consequence of the recession of the two cranial tables from their parallelism ; and as this recession is inappreciable, consequently, no indication is afforded by the external plate of the eminence or depression of the brain, in contact with the internal.
To this fact, Gall opposed the following
Fiction.-The frontal sinus interposes no impediment to the observation of cerebral development; for as the walls of this cavity are exactly parallel, the effect of the brain upon the inner table must consequently be expressed by the outer.
Authorities for the Fiction.-This fiction was originally advanced by Gall, in his Lectures, and, though never formally retracted, has not been repeated by him or Spurzheim in their works subsequently published. I therefore adduce it, not as an opinion now actually held by the phrenologists, but as a part only of that cycle of vacillation and absurdity which, in their attempts to elude the objection of the sinus, they have fruitlessly accomplished. That it was so originally advanced, is shown by the following authorities ; which, as beyond the reach of readers in general, I shall not merely refer to, but translate.
The first is Froriep ; and I quote from the 3d edition of his Darstellung, &c., which appeared in 1802. This author was a pupil and friend of Gall, on whose doctrine he delivered lectures, and his work is referred to by Gall, in his ApologeticMemorial to the Austrian Government, in that very year, as containing an authentic exposition of his opinions.-” Although at this place the frontal sinuses are found, and here constitute the vaulting of the forehead, nevertheless, Gall maintains that the brain, in consequence of the walls of the sinuses lying quite parallel (? !), is able to affect likewise the outer plate, and to determine its protuberance.”-P. 61. The doubt and wonder are by the disciple himself.
The second authority is Bartels, whose Anthropologische
Bemerkungen appeared in 1806. ” In regard to the important objection drawn from the frontal sinuses, Gall’s oral reply is very conformable to nature. ‘ Here, notwithstanding the intervening cavity in the bones, there is found a parallelism between the external and internal plates of the cranium.”‘-P. 125.
Proof of the Fact.-In refutation of a fiction so ridiculous, it is unnecessary to say a single word; even the phrenologists now define the sinus by ” a divergence from parallelism between the two tables of the bone.” a
It was only in abandoning this one fiction, and from the conviction that the sinus, when it existed, did present an insuperable obstacle to observation, that the phrenologists were obliged to resort to a plurality of fictions of far inferior efficacy ; for what mattered it to them, whether these cavities were indiscoverable, frequent, and capacious, if, in effect, they interposed no obstacle to an observation of the brain ?
II.-INDICATION OF THE SINUS.
Fact.-There is no correlation between the extent and existence of a sinus, and the existence and extent of any elevation, whether superciliary or glabellar ; either may be present without the other, and when both are coexistent they hold no reciprocal proportion in dimension or figure. Neither is there any form whatever of cranial development which guarantees either the absence or the presence of a subjacent cavity.
To this fact the phrenologists are unanimous in opposing the following
Fiction.-The sinus, when present, betrays its existence and extent by an irregular elevation of a peculiar character, under the appearance of a bony ridge, or crest, or blister, and is distinguished from the regular forms under which the phrenological organs are developed.
Authorities for the fiction-It is sufficient to adduce Galla and Spurzheim,y followed by Combe,s and the phrenologists in general. In support of their position, they adduce no testimony by anatomists,-no evidence from nature.
a Combe, System, p. 32. y Phys. Syst., p. 236 ; Exam. of
S Anat. et Phys., t. iv. p. 43, et seq.; Object. p. 79 ; Plzren., p. 115.
and, in the same terms, Sur les Fonet. 8 Syst., pp. 21, 35, 308.
Proof of the fact.-All anatomical authority, as will be seen in the sequel, is opposed to the fiction, for every anatomist concurs in holding that the sinuses are rarely, if ever, absent; whereas the crests or blisters which the phrenologists regard as an index of these cavities, are of comparatively rare occurrence. It must be admitted, however, that some anatomists have rashly connected the extent of the internal sinus with the extent of the external elevation. The statement of the fact is the result of my own observation of above three hundred crania. ; and any person who would in like manner interrogate nature, will find that the largest sinuses are frequently in those foreheads which present no superciliary or glabellar elevations. I may notice, that of the fifty skulls whose phrenological development was marked under the direction of Spurzheim, and of which a table is appended, the one only head where the frontal sinuses are noted, from the ridge, as present, is the male cranium No. 19 ; and that cranium, it will be seen, has sinuses considerably beneath even the average extent.
III.-FREQUENCY OF THE SINUS.
Fact.-The sinuses are rarely, if ever, wanting in any healthy adult head of either sex.
To this fact, the phrenologists oppose the three following inconsistent fictions:—-
Fiction 1.-The sinuses are only to be found in, some male heads, being frequently absent in men until a pretty advanced age.
Fiction II.-In women the sinuses are rarely found.
Fiction III.-The presence of the sinus is abnormal; young and adult persons have no cavities between the tables of the frontal bone-the real frontal sinuses occurring only in old persons, or after chronic insanity.
Authorities for fiction L-This fiction is held in terms by Gall.- The other phrenologists, as we shall see, are much further in the wrong. But even for this fiction they have adduced no testimony of other observers, and detailed no observations of their own.
Proof of the fact in opposition to this fiction.-All anatomists -there is not a single exception-concur in maintaining a doc-
a As quoted above.
trine diametrically opposed to the figment of the phrenologists, that the sinuses are, even in men, frequently or generally absent. Some, however, assert that the sinus in a state of health is never wanting; while others insist that, though very rarely, cases do occur in which it is actually deficient.
Of the latter opinion, Fallopiusa holds that they are present “in all adults,” except occasionally in the case of simous foreheads, an exception which Riolanuss and others have shown to be false. Schulze,y Winslow,s Buddeus,E “that they aresometimes absolutely wanting in cases where the cranium is spongy and honeycombed.” Palfyn, C ” that they are sometimes, though rarely, absent.” Wittich, 17 ” that they are almost always present, though it may be admitted, that in some very rare cases they are wanting ;” and Stalpart Van der Weile relates, that “he had seen in Nuck’s Museum, preserved as a special rarity, a cranium without a frontal sinus.” Of more recent authorities, Hippolyte Cloquet, observes, ” that they are seldom wanting; ” and the present Dr Monro K found, in forty-five skulls, that while three only were without the sinus, in two of them, (as observed by Schulze, Winslow, and Buddeus), the cavity had merely been filled up by the deposition of a spongy bone.
Of the former opinion, which holds that the sinus is always present, I need only quote, instar omniumi., the authority of Blumenbach, x whose illustrious reputation is in a peculiar manner associated with the anatomy of the human cranium, and who even celebrated his professional inauguration by a dissertation, in some respects the most elaborate we possess, on the Frontal Sinuses themselves. This anatomist cannot be persuaded, even on the observation of, Highmore, Albinus, Haller, and the first Monro, that normal cases ever occur of so improbable a defect; ” for,” he says, “independently of the diseases afterwards to be considered, I can with difficulty admit, that healthy individuals are ever wholly destitute of the frontal sinus ; on the contrary, I am convinced
S Comm. de Oss., p. 468.
y De Sin. Oss. Cap. Aeta Phys. Med. Leop. Cces., vol. i. obs. 288.
S Expos. Anat. tr. des Oss. Sees., see. 30.
E Obs. Anat. Sel., obs. 1.
C Oat., p. 105.
77 De Olfactu, p. 17.
B Obs. Rar. Cent. Post. gars prior,
obe. 4. i Anat. Descr., sec. 153, ed. 1824. K Elem. of Anat. i. p. 134. T De Sin. Front., p. 5.
that these distinguished men have not applied the greatest diligence and research:’ In this opinion, as observed by the present Dr Monro, a Blumenbach is supported by the concurrence of Bertin, Portal, Sommering, Caldani, &c. Nor does the fiction obtain any countenance from the authors whom Blumenbach opposes. I have consulted them, and find that they are all of that class of anatomists who regard the absence of the sinus, though a possible, as a rare and memorable phenomenon. Highmores founds his assertion on the single case of a female. Albinus,y on his own observation, and on that of other anatomists, declares that “the sinuses are very rarely absent.” The first Monro, s speaking of their infinite variety in size and figure, notices as a remarkable occurrence that he had.”even seen cases in which they were absolutely wanting.” And Haller E is only able to establish the exception on the case of a solitary cranium.
My own experience is soon stated. Having examined above three hundred crania for the purpose of determining this point, I have been unable to find a single skull wholly destitute of a sinus. In crania, which were said to be examples of their absence, I found that the sinus still existed. In some, indeed, I found it only on one side, and in many not ascending to the point of the glabellar region, through which crania are usually cut round. The only instances of its total deficiency are, I believe, those abnormal cases in which as observed by anatomists, the original cavity has been subsequently occupied by a pumicose deposit. Of this deposit the only examples I met with occurred in males.
Authorities for fiction IL-This fiction also is in terms maintained by Gall. S Neither he nor any other phrenologist has adduced any proof of this paradox, nor is there, I believe, to be found a single authority for its support ; while its refutation is involved in the refutation already given to fiction I. Nannoni,,r indeed, says-“the opinion of Fallopius that the frontal sinuses are often wanting in women, is refuted by observation; ” but Fallopius says nothing of the sort. It is also a curious circumstance, that the great majority of cases in which worms, &c., have been found
a Elem., vol. i, p. 138.
,8 Disq. Anat. lib. iii. c. 4.
y Annot. Acad., lib. i. c. 11, et Tab. Oss.
8 Osteol. par Sue, p. 54. s Elem. Ph ys. v. p. 138. C As above. rt Trattato de Anatomic, 1788, p. 55.
in the sinus, have occurred in females. This is noticed by Salzmann and Honold.a
My own observations, extending, as I have remarked, to above three hundred crania, confirms the doctrine of all anatomists, that in either sex, the absence of this cavity is a rare and abnormal phamomenon, if not an erroneous assertion. I may notice, by the way, the opinion of some anatomists, s that the sinuses are smaller in women than in men, seems to be the result of too hasty an induction; and I am inclined to think, from all I have observed, that proportionally to the less size of the female cranium, they will be found equally extensive with the male.
Authorities for fiction 1-11-This fiction was maintained by Spurzheim while in this country, from one of whose publicationsy it is extracted. It is, perhaps, one of the highest flights of phrenological fancy. Nor has it failed of exciting emulation in the sect. “While a man,” says Sir George Mackenzie,s ” is in the prime of life, and healthy, and manifests the faculties of the frontal organs, such a cavity very seldom exists ” (‘) * * * * * ” We have examined a GREAT MANY skulls, and we have not yet seen ONE having the sinus, that could be proved to have belonged to a person in the vigour of life and mind.” (!’) Did Sir George ever see any skull which belonged to any °° person in the vigour of life and mind” without a sinus ? Did he ever see any adult skull of any person whatever in which such a cavity was not to be found?
Proof of the fact, in opposition to this fiction.-This fiction deserves no special answer. It is already more than sufficiently refuted under the first.
It is true, indeed, the doctrine that the frontal sinuses wax large in old age is stated in many anatomical works. I find it as far back as those of Vidus Vidius and Fallopius, but I find no ground for such a statement in nature. This I assert on a comparative examination of some thirty-aged skulls. In fact, about the smallest frontal sinus that I ever saw, was in the head of a woman who was accidentally killed in her hundred and first year. (See also the appended Table.) I take this indeed for one of the instances in which anatomical authors have blindly copied each other ; so
a De Verm. e. Nar. Excess. (Haller, y Answer to Objections against the
Dish. Med. Praet. i. n. 2b.) Doctrines of Gall, &e., p. fig.
B instar omniaon, v. Sommering, De E Illustrations, p. 228.
P. C Il. i. sec. 62.
that what originates in a blunder or a rash induction, ends in having, to appearance, almost catholic authority in its favour. A curious instance of this sequacity occurs to me. The common fowl has an encephalos, in proportion to its body, about as one to five hundred; that is, it has a brain less, by relation to its body, than almost any other bird or beast. Pozzi (Puteus), in a small table which he published, gave the proportion of the encephalos of the cock to its body, by a blunder, at about half its amount ; that is, as one to two hundred and fifty. Haller, copying Pozzi’s observation, dropt the cipher, and records in his table, the brain of the common fowl as bearing a proportion to the body of one to twenty-five. This double error was shortly copied by Cuvier, Tiedemann, and, as I have myself noticed, by some twenty other physiologists ; so that,,at the present moment, to dispute the fact of the common fowl having a brain more than double the size of the human, in proportion to its body, would be to maintain a paradox counter to the whole stream of scientific authority. The doctrine of the larger the sinus the older the skull, stands, I believe, on no better footing. Indeed, the general opinion, that the brain contracts in the decline of life, is, to say the least of it, very doubtful, as I may take another opportunity of showing.
As to the effect of chronic insanity in amplifying the sinuses, I am a sceptic ; for I have seen no such effect in the crania of madmen which I have inspected. At all events, admitting the phrenological fancy, it could have no influence on the question, for the statistics of insanity show, that there could not be above one cranium in four hundred where madness could have exerted any effect.
IV.-EXTENT OF THE SINUS.
Fact.-While the sinus is always regularly present, it, however, varies appreciably in its extent. For whilst, on the average, it affects six or seven organs, it is, however, impossible to determine whether it be confined to one or extended to some seventeen of these.
This fact is counter to three phrenological fictions
Fiction I.-The frontal sinus is a small cavity.
Fiction II.-The frontal sinus, when present, affects only the organ of locality.
Fiction III.-When the sinus does exist, it only extends an obstacle over two organs, (Size and Lower Individuality), or at most, partially affects a third, (Locality).
Authorities for fiction I.–Mr Combe a maintains this fiction, that the frontal sinus ” is a small cavity.”
Authorities for fiction II.-Galls contemplates and speaks of the sinus as only affecting locality ; and the same may be said of Spurzheim, in his earlier English works.y
Authorities for fiction III.-This fiction is that into which Spurzheim modified his previous paradoxes, when, in 1825, he published his ” Phrenology.” s Mr Combe allows that the sinus, in ordinary cases, extends over locality, as well as over size and lower individuality.
All these fictions are, however, sufficiently disproved at once by the following
Proof of the fact.-The phrenologists term the sinus, (when they allow it being), ” a small cavity.” Compare this with the description given by impartial anatomists of these caverns. Vidus Vidius E characterises them by ” spatium non parvum ; ” Banhinus C styles them ” cavitates insignes ; ” Spigelius,v ” cavernae satis anaplce; ” Laurentius,e “sinus amplissimi ; ” Bartholinus,, ” cavitates amplissimce; ” Petit,x ” grands cavites irregulieres ; ” Sabatier,21 ” cavites laryes etprofondes ; ” Sommering,w ” cava ampla; ” Monro, primus,” “great cavities ; ” and his grandson,1 ” large cavities.”
The phrenologists further assert, that in ordinary cases the frontal sinus covers only two petty organs and a half ; that is, extends only a few lines beyond the root of the nose. But what teach the anatomists? “The frontal sinuses,” says Portal,° “are much more extensive than is generally believed.” ” In general,” says Professor Walther,w ” the sinuses ascend in height nearly to the middle of the frontal bone.” Patissierp observes, that “their
a System, p. 32. 1 Anat. lib. iv., e. 6.
S As quoted above. rc Palfyn An. ch. i. p. 52.
y Plays. Syst., p. 236, and Exam. of X Anat.
Obj. p. 79. p De Fab. i. sec. 35.
8 P. 115. v Osteol. par Site, p. 54.
e Anat. lib. ii. e. 2. Elements.
S Anat. lib. iii. c. 5. o Anat. Med. i. pp. 102, 238.
,7 De Fabr. lib. ii. c. 5. 7r Abh. v. trokn. Kn., p. 133.
0 list. Anat. lib. ii: e. 9. p Diet. des Se. Dled., t. 51, p. 372.
extent varies to infinity, is sometimes stretched upwards to the frontal protuberances, and to the sides, as far as the external orbitar apophyses, as is seen in many crania in the cabinet of the Paris Faculty of Medicine.” Bichat a delivers the same doctrine nearly in the same words ; which, contradicted by none, is maintained by Albinus,s Haller,’ Buddeus,s Monro primus,E and tertius,f Blumenbach,v S6mmering,e Fife,, Cloquet,K Velpeau,A -and, in a word, by every osteologist ; for all represent these cavities as endless in their varieties, and extending not unfrequently to the outer angles of the eyebrow, and even to the parietal bones. To finish by a quotation from one of the last and best observers:—” In relation,” says Voigtel,,, ” to their abnormal greatness or smallness, the differences, in this respect, whether in one subject as compared with another, or in one sinus in relation to the opposite of the same skull, are of so frequent occurrence that they vary almost in every cranium. They are found so small, that their depth, measured from before backwards, is hardly more than a line ; in others, on the contrary, a space of from four, five, to six lines, (i. e. half an inch), is found between the anterior and posterior wall. Still more remarkable are the variations of these cavities, in relation to their height, as they frequently rise from the trifling height of four lines to an inch at the glabella” M. Velpeau, speaking of this great and indeterminable extent of the sinus, adds : ” this disposition must prevent us from being able to judge of the volume of the anterior parts of the brain by the exterior of the cranium ; “-an observation sufficiently obvious in relation to Phrenology, and previously made by the present Dr Monro.v
On the sinus and its extent, two anatomists only, as far as I am aware, have given an articulate account of their inductionsSchulze, and the present Dr Monro.
The former, E who wrote a distinct treatise On the Cavities or Sinuses of the Cranial Bones, examined only ten skulls, and does
a Anat. Desc., c. i. p. 102. B Anat. Descr. t. 1, sec. 153, edit. 3.
S Annot. A cad., lib. i. c. ii. (?) c Traite d’Anat. Chir.
y Elem. v. p. 138. is De Sin. _Fr., p. 3.
8 Obs. Anat., sec. 8. A De Fab. c. ii. t. sec. 94.
e Osteol. par Sue, p. 54. /A Path. Anat. i. p. 289.
Elements. v Elem. p. 133.
71 Anat. Loc. cit.
not detail the dimension of each several sinus. After describing these cavities, which he says, ” plerisque hominibus formantur,” he adds, that ” when of a middling size they hardly extend towards the temples beyond the centre of the eye, where the orbital vault is highest ; and if you measure their height, from the insertion of the nasal bones, you will find it equal to an inch. Such is the condition of this cavity when moderate. That there are sinuses far greater, was taught me by another inspection of a cranium. In this case, the vacuity on the right did not pass the middle of the orbit, but that on the left stretched so far that it only ended over the external angle of the eyebrow, forming a cavity of at least two inches in breadth. Its depth was such as easily to admit the least joint of the middle finger. Its height, measured from the root of the nose on the left side, exceeded two inches, on the right it was a little less; the left sinus was, however, shallower than the right. On the left side I have said the cavity terminated over the external angle of the orbit. From this place, a bony wall ran towards the middle of the crista Galli, and thus separated the sinus into a posterior and an anterior cavity. The posterior extended so far towards the temples, that it reached the place where the frontal and sincipetal bones and the processes of the sphenoidal meet. It covered the whole arch of the orbit, so that all was here seen hollow,” &c.
After describing sundry appearances which the sinuses exhibited in another skull, he observes: ” It was my fortune to see and to obtain possession of one cranium in which of neither of the frontal nor the sphenoidal cavities was there any vestige whatsoever. In this specimen the bones in which these vacuities are situated were thicker than usual, and more cavernous ; ” an observation, as we have seen, made by other anatomists. However subversive of the phrenological statement, it will soon be seen that Schulze has understated the usual extent of the impediment.
Dr Monro,a after mentioning that there ” were forty-five crania of adults in the Anatomical Museum, cut with a view to exhibit the different sizes and forms of the frontal sinuses,” says : ” I measured the breadth or distance across the forehead ; the height or distance upwards from the transverse suture, where it, divides
a Elements i., p. 134.
the frontal bones and bones of the nose; and also the depth of the frontal sinuses; in nine different skulls in which these sinuses were large.” Omitting the table, it is sufficient to say, that in these crania the average is as follows :—Breadth,within a trifle of three inches; height, one inch anal five-tenths ; depth, above one inch. Here the depth seems not merely the distance between the external and internal tables, but the horizontal distance from the glabella to the posterior wall of the sinus. These nine crania thus yield an average, little larger than an indifferent induction ; and though the sinuses are stated to have been large, the skulls appear to have been selected by Dr Monro, not so much in consequence of that circumstance, as because they were so cut as to afford the means of measuring the cavity in its three dimensions.
By the kindness of Dr Monro and Mr Mackenzie, I was permitted to examine all the crania in the public anatomical museum, and in the private collection of the Professor ; many were, for the first time, laid open for my inspection. I was thus enabled to institute an impartial induction. A random measurement of above thirty perfect crania (laying aside three skulls of old persons, in which the cavity of the sinus was almost entirely occupied by a pumicose deposit) gave the following average result
breadth, two inches four-tenths ; height, one inch and nearly fivetenths; depth (taken like Dr Monro), rather more than eighttenths of an inch. What in this induction was probably accidental, the sinuses of the female crania exhibited an average, in all the three dimensions, almost absolutely equal to that of the male. The relative size was consequently greater.
Before the sinuses of the fifty crania of Dr Spurzheim’s collection, (of which I am immediately to speak), were, with the sanction of Professor Jameson, laid open upon one side, I had measured their three dimensions by the probe. This certainly could not ascertain their full extent, as, among other impediments, the probe is arrested by the septa, which so frequently subdivide each sinus into lesser chambers ; but the labour was not to be undergone a second time, especially as the proportional extent of these cavities is by relation to the phrenological organs articulately exhibited in the table. As it was, the average obtained by the probe is as follows :—In the thirty-six male crania (one could not be measured
by the probe), the breadth was two inches and nearly fourtenths ; the height, one inch and nearly three-tenths ; the depth, rather more than one inch. In the twelve female crania (here, also, one could not be measured by the probe), the breadth was one inch, and rather more than nine-tenths ; the height, nearly one inch; the depth, within a trifle of nine-tenths.
I should notice that in all these measurements, the thickness of the external plate is included in the depth.
So true is the observation of Portal, that the ” frontal sinuses are much more extensive than is generally believed.”
The collection of fifty crania, of which the average size of the frontal sinuses has been given above, and of which a detailed table of the impediment interposed by these cavities to phrenological observation now follows, was sent by M. Royer, of the Jardin des Plantes, (probably by mistake), to the Royal Museum of Natural History in Edinburgh; the skulls, taken from the catacombs of Paris, having, under Dr Spurzheim’s inspection, been selected to illustrate the development of the various phrenological organs, which development is diligently marked on the several crania.
Thus, though I have it in my power to afford a greatly more extensive table, the table of these fifty crania is, for the present purpose, sufficient. For-
1°, They constitute a complete and definite collection ;
2°, A collection authoritative in all points against the phrenologists;
3°, One to which it can be objected by none, that it affords only a selected or partial induction in a question touching the frontal sinus ;
4°, It is a collection patent to the examination of the whole world;
5°, In all the skulls a. sinus has on one side been laid open to its full extent ; the capacity of both is thus easily ascertained ; and, at the same time with the size of the cavity, the thickness and salience of the external frontal table remains apparent.
Table exhibiting the variable extent and unappreciable impediment, in a phrenological relation, of the Frontal Sinuses ; in a collection of fifty crania, selected, and their development marked, under the direction of Dr Spurzheim :—
. (1) The organs denoted by these numbers :—ix. i, Constructiveness; xx. 32, Mirthfulness or Wit; axii. 19 (2), Individuality, Lnwerlndividuality; xxiii.20,Configuratiou, Figure; xsiv.2l,Size; xxv.22,Weigbt,Resistance; xxvi.23,Colour; xxvii. 24, Loealit.c; xxviii.26,Calculation, Number; xxix. 25, Order; xxx.19(1). Eventuality, Upper Individuality; xxxi. 26, Time; xxxii. 28, Melody, Tune; xxxiii. 29, Language-this organ Gall divides in two, to wit, into tine organ of Language and the organ of Words; xxxiv. 30, Comparison: xxxv. 31, Causality. The order of the numbers in this table was taken from that of a more extensive and general table : so that whilst here xx. 32, bas not been affected at all, there it was affected more frequently than ix. 7.
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